Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a lying scumbag. There I said it.  She's not the only one in the press operation of the Trump regime but she is probably the most overtly hypocritical of them. Her Emperors New Clothes cover for Donald Trump's scummy,  sleazy, smutty comments to the Boy Scout Jamboree proves that her moral values are about as substantial as her cover lines. 

When Michael Met Arthur - A Full Frontal Segment

I don't know, I've always found Arthur Laffer to be as repulsive as I did his claims obviously stupid.

The Timeline In the Case Against Trump

Question and Answer

"What do you think about Sam Brownback being named as Trump's Ambassador At Large For Religious Freedom?"

Well, first Mike Pence, then Sam Brownback and, if little Jared blackballing him for putting his biological daddy in jail ends, Chris Christie..... it looks like the Trump regime is the country-club prison for disastrously failed and massively unpopular Republican governors.   I remember reading how Republicans in Indiana were so glad to get rid of Pence and it's pretty obvious that after trashing Kansas over his insane religious faith in supply side economics that even the Republicans have repudiated the idiocy of Brownback.   They seem to be following Trump up in a final vindication of the Peter Principle where such people rise to their highest level of incompetence.  

As for Brownback being an alleged Christian, a Catholic, no less, there is no way to intuit the teachings of Jesus or Paul or even the Catechism of John Paul II from the actions of Sam Brownback, the guy is a fraud of the kind I have always advocated calling out.  Jesus gave the test of someone who was sincere in their profession of faith, by their fruits you will know them.  Brownback yields a bitter harvest of injustice, inequality, cruelty and smug self-righteousness.   He's about as credible as Jim Bakker and the rest of the phony TV huckster hallelujah peddlers.   He's about as Christian as Donald Trump.  

Susannah Heschel - The Aryan Jesus in Nazi Germany: The Bible and the Holocaust

I had intended to post this back when I posted some videos by her father, Abraham Joshua Heschel but politics and other things intervened.

Her scholarship pointing out the part that late 19th and 20th century racial theory (based in contemporary biology) had in denying the Judaism of Jesus shows that the relationships producing 20th century, German anti-semitism was more complex than a cartoon, Colorforms, history diorama approach to the issue can contain.

Marilynne Robinson, in her review of The God Delusion -  after a paragraph defending Jews against evolutionary psychological claims slamming Jews for their alleged moral exclusivity -  pointed out:

Dawkins says, “I need to call attention to one particularly unpalatable aspect of its [the Bible’s] ethical teaching. Christians seldom realize that much of the moral consideration for others which is apparently promoted by both the Old and New Testaments was originally intended to apply only to a narrowly defined in-group. ‘Love thy neighbor’ didn’t mean what we now think it means. It meant only ‘Love another Jew.” As for the New Testament interpretation of the text, “Hartung puts it more bluntly than I dare: ‘Jesus would have turned over in his grave if he had known that Paul would be taking his plan to the pigs.” Pigs being, of course, gentiles.

There are two major objections to be made to this reading. First, the verse quoted here, Leviticus 19:18, does indeed begin, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people,” language that allows a narrow interpretation of the commandment. But Leviticus 19:33—34 says “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. . . . You shall love the alien as yourself.” In light of these verses, it is wrong by Dawkins’s own standards to argue that the ethos of the law does not imply moral consideration for others. (It would be interesting to see the response to a proposal to display this Mosaic law in our courthouses.) Second, Jesus provided a gloss on 19:18, the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan. With specific reference to this verse, a lawyer asks Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus tells a story that moves the lawyer to answer that the merciful Samaritan—a non-Jew— embodies the word “neighbor.” That the question would be posed to Jesus, or by Luke, is evidence that the meaning of the law was not obvious or settled in antiquity. In general, Dawkins’s air of genteel familiarity with Scripture, though becoming in one aware as he is of its contributions to the arts, dissipates under the slightest scrutiny.

Nor is Dawkins’s argument from history impressive. He cheerfully posits a “Zeitgeist” that wafts us to ever higher states of ethical sensitivity, granting lapses, specifically those associated with Hitler and Stalin: “We are forced to realize that Hitler, appalling though he was, was not quite as far outside the Zeitgeist of his time as he seems from our vantage-point today. How swiftly the Zeitgeist changes — and it moves in parallel, on a broad front, throughout the educated world.” Dawkins fails to note that the racial anti-Semitism that arose in Germany in the later nineteenth century had appeared to recede, until Hitler and others revived it. The article on anti- Semitism in the 11th Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, published in 1911. describes the movement as a German “craze” that had “shown little activity since 1893.” According to the article, “While it remained a theory of nationality and a fad of the metaphysicians, it made considerable noise in the world without exercising much practical influence.” So, although Dawkins’s Zeitgeist might seem a harmless fudge, a spiritus ex machina meant to rescue his Darwinian atheism from the charges of bleakness and emptiness, it excuses his consistent inattentiveness to history. It is precisely the swiftness with which the Zeitgeist can change that makes it profoundly unworthy of confidence.

I really love Susannah Heschel, this talk has lots of hard truth in it but this is a hard truth. And it's a far more complex truth than the comic book version of history can process.

Lying With A Camera And Selling It To Simplified MInds

Simps, has unwittingly volunteer to show what happens when fiction becomes confused for reality, a result of too much TV and Movies. He said:

"Much as the Weimar government and its free
wheeling culture in Germany gave rise to Nazism."

Absolutely. It was all the fault of the real life slut who Isherwood based Sally Bowles on.

Which is probably the kind of thing that happens when you mix up a Bob Fosse musical with history. I strongly suspect he didn't really read Christopher Isherwood, though depending on it as an accurate depiction of Berlin on the eve of the Nazi takeover is probably as bad an idea.   I don't have time to write about it, but, luckily, someone else did.  I don't have time to find the piece by Alexander Cockburn mentioned here, at the BBC, but I did read it long ago.

But 20 years after Isherwood's Berlin adventures, the stage play [I Am A Camera, etc.] is less honest about his sexuality than the originals had been. A suddenly heterosexual Isherwood has a relationship with nightclub singer Sally Bowles.

In real life there had, of course, been no such affair but Isherwood explained there had been a real Sally Bowles, a young Englishwoman in Berlin called Jean Ross.

As he wrote her, Sally's main talent is for snaring wealthy older men.

Jean Ross died in 1973 having said little about being used as the model. In reality, Ross was a political radical who went on to have a relationship with the author Claud Cockburn.

His son, Alexander Cockburn, knew her much later. "Jean was a wonderful woman, warm and gentle in demeanour. She couldn't have been more unlike the rather tinny character portrayed in Sally Bowles. She was extremely intelligent, politically alert and vital. She probably found the portrait painted by Isherwood rather irritating."

Ross may have been annoyed at Isherwood's invention but the success of Jan Van Druten's 1951 Broadway play I am a Camera (filmed in 1955) meant the writer was now losing control of his own creations.

Later he said the regular arrival of cheques soothed his wounded self-regard.

In 1966, the play became the hit musical Cabaret. Six years later came Bob Fosse's massively successful movie version, starring Liza Minnelli.

Professor Norman Page says by this time little resemblance remained to the "real" Sally Bowles. "In fact near the end of his life Isherwood admitted he couldn't really remember what Jean Ross had been like. The memories had been overlaid by all the actresses who played her various reincarnations," he says.

But, he says: "In all their different versions his stories and characters evoke a crucial period in European history - even if what we learn about the realities of '30s Berlin is quite limited. His picture is rather sanitised - Berlin was a place of great hardship and suffering but you don't see much of that."

Professor Page says changing literary taste will keep the stories alive. "Isherwood operates in an area which has become more interesting to us in recent years: the frontiers of fiction and autobiography and the whole nature of truth-telling in fiction."

Only, I don't think there should be a frontier, mixing fiction and autobiography (though you're always asking for trouble when you don't fact check someones account of their own life) and I certainly think the confusion of fiction and, worse, show biz with history is not only a bad idea but positively dangerous.  There should be a bright line separating them, if not an impenetrable wall. What do you suppose replaces history in the mind of Donald Trump?  Rand Paul?  Paul Ryan?

Simels, like Trump, Paul, Ryan et al, are a product of the post-truth culture brought on by peoples minds being fed by TV and Movies and pop-culture and celebrity culture and crap pseudo-historical musicals.  Nothing matters, nothing means anything.  Nothing is real, there's nothing to get hung about.  Yeah, I did intend to go there.

The Symbiotic Relationship Of Enabled Lies And Hate Politics And The Republican History Which Gave Us Trump

Donald Trump's anti-transgender tweet storm of yesterday has been surprisingly unenthusiastically accepted by even the old far-right of the Republican Party, the "far right" before it took the plunge into actual fascist politics in the Trump era.  When Orrin Hatch speaks up for transgender military people to a Republican president, you know that the Earth has moved.  It has, decidedly, moved backward for groups of people who are not largely and, inaccurately, presented and believed to be white.  That is something which is as obvious, that only to the extent that LGBT people are identified as white are their rights enhanced on an accelerated basis. That's something I've written about before.

I am sure that Donald Trump is, as has been said, trying to throw red meat to his fascist base by sacrificing active soldiers, marines, etc. some of them serving in war zones on active duty, is trying to get himself cover for his attempts to dump Jeff Sessions,  Trump's neo-Confederate Attorney General who would probably love to execute everyone of the LGBT community but who has the priority of reinstalling voter suppression, Jim Crow, prissily going after pot smokers and other measures, first. I'm sure Trump believes he, as Republican politicians, presidential candidates going back to Barry Goldwater*  and Presidents such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, can rally the Republican base around some hate issue to his benefit.  Republican politics has made maximum use of hate, increasingly, and you can count on its bright young boys and girls coming up with ever more people to hate and fear for the FOX audience, every election cycle.

I don't think we think enough about the relationship between the Age of Lies and the regime of hate politics but those are intimately related, the regime of hate politics depends, absolutely, on the media being permitted to tell lies with impunity.  I've compared the ACLU's sporatic efforts against the legal results of hate politics to the little boy who tried to hold back the sea by putting his finger into a hole in the dyke, but the ACLU and other "civil liberties" groups are like a little boy who does that even as he drills more holes into the dyke.  Their long standing practice of enabling lies and the liars who tell them is as intimately enabling of hate speech as the billionaires who finance hate-talk politics.  It was the very same "civil libertarian" groups and individual lawyers who supported Buckley v. Valeo and other rulings that made things steadily worse under their first novel, now standard interpretation of the First Amendment.

That the worst of our political figures, the worst of our media titans and the super-rich they serve have benefitted from the monumentally irresponsible and totally idiotic policy of permitting lies and hate talk is proven beyond any rational doubt.  If you want to find out the answer to how, unimaginably, we have a Donald Trump regime in power, that is how it happened.  Anyone who expected what the courts have ruled in that area would produce anything else was a gullible boob. The idea that egalitarian democracy was not properly involved with the suppression of lies and bigotry, that the law and government of a supposed egalitarian democracy was not rightly  smack dab in the business of  promoting the truth and opposing the politics of discrimination and hate and inequality is to totally and fundamentally not understand the reality of the situation.

An egalitarian democracy that does not suppress lies, that does not suppress the kind of hatred that has enabled Donald Trump and which he continues to use as a tool of political advancement and advantage will die in fascism.  Much as the Weimar government and its free wheeling culture in Germany gave rise to Nazism.

I really, truly,  mean that lies and hate-talk have to be disempowered, to be disadvantaged, to be suppressed.   In the case of lies, that can be done by allowing people lied about to sue those who lie about them and to collect damages large enough to discourage the billionaire media owners to lie.  Suppressing both lies and hate-talk propaganda can be done through removing broadcast licenses and making other mass media subject to the same kind of regulatory regime.  I really don't think paper-based, print media would much matter for regulation but, given the supermarket tabloids influence with the stupidest and most sensation seeking of people, largely supporters of Trumpian fascism, they should certainly be subject to libel laws with an interest in suppressing and disempowering lies.  I would rather take my chances on that kind of an effort to protect egalitarian democracy than to rely on the "civil libertarian" theory which has failed and brought us Trump as well as the goon squad that runs the House and Senate and holds a majority on the Supreme Court.  I have become convinced in the last year that there is no choice but to take a chance on that because the theory which has brought us here has such catastrophic results.

*  If I had the funding and time I would like to look at the timeline of Barry Goldwater's campaign use of semi-covert racism in the year 1964 to see if there was any change after the Sullivan decision came down in March of that year.   Luckily, in the wake of the assassination of John Kennedy, it was never really likely that Goldwater would have won the election but he did push the use of veiled racism and an appeal to racists farther.

The Sullivan Decision could have been decided by pointing out that the ad which was sued over didn't mention Sullivan by name so he had no standing to sue, it could have been decided to require that the Times and or those who wrote the ad issue a retraction of the minor errors of fact in the ad or any of a number of other ways that didn't empower the age of lies it started.

Also, about the 1964 Goldwater campaign and what it started, From Jackie Robinson's Memoir

I will never forget the fantastic scene of Governor Rockefeller’s ordeal as he endured what must have been three minutes of hysterical abuse and booing which interrupted his fighting statement which the convention managers had managed to delay until the wee hours of the morning.  Since the telecast was coming from the West Coast, that meant that many people in other sections of the country, because of the time differential, would be in their beds.  I don’t think he has ever stood taller than that night when he refused to be silenced until he had had his say.

It was a terrible hour for the relatively few black delegates who were present.  Distinguished in their communities, identified with the cause of Republicanism, an extremely unpopular cause among blacks, they had been served notice that the party they had fought for considered them just another bunch of “niggers”.  They had no real standing in the convention, no clout.  They were unimportant and ignored.  One bigot from one of the Deep South states actually threw acid on a black delegate’s suit jacket and burned it.  Another one, from the Alabama delegation where I was standing at the time of the Rockefeller speech, turned on me menacingly while I was shouting “C’mon Rocky” as the governor stood his ground.  He started up in his seat as if to come after me.  His wife grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

“Turn him loose, lady, turn him loose,” I shouted.

I was ready for him.  I wanted him badly, but luckily for him he obeyed his wife.

I had been very active on that convention floor.  I was one of those trying to help bring about a united front among the black delegates in the hope of thwarting the Goldwater drive.  George Parker had courageously challenged Goldwater in vain and Edward Brooke had lent his uncompromising sincerity to the convention.  I sat in with them after the nomination as they agonized about what they should do.  Some were for walking out of the convention and even out of the party.  Others felt that, as gloomy as things looked, the wisest idea was to remain within the party and fight.  Throughout the convention, I had been interviewed several times on network television.  When I was asked my opinion of Barry Goldwater, I gave it.  I said I thought he was a bigot.  I added that he was not as important as the forces behind him.  I was genuinely concerned, for instance, about Republican National Committee Chairman William Miller, slated to become the Vice Presidential candidate.  Bill Miller could have become the Agnew of his day if he had been elected.  He was a man who apparently believed you never said a decent thing in political campaigning if you could think of a way to be nasty, insinuating, and abrasive.  What with the columns I had written about Goldwater, The Saturday Evening Post article, and the television and radio interview, I had achieved a great deal of publicity about the way I felt about Goldwater.

Although I know it is the way of politicians to forget their differences and unify around the victor, it disgusted me to see how quickly the various anti-Goldwater GOP kingpins got converted.  Richard Nixon, who hadn’t really fought Goldwater and had in fact been an ally, naturally became one of his most staunch supporters.  You could expect that.  Governor Romney, who had fought the Goldwater concept so vigorously, got religion.  The convert who around the most cynical feelings in my mind was Governor William Scranton.  When Governor Rockefeller had withdrawn from the race, during the primaries, Rockefeller supporters turned to Scranton because he had become the governor’s choice.  At the request of the governor I had a meeting with Scranton in his beautiful home in Pennsylvania.

Governor Scranton welcomed me graciously, introduced me to his family, and conducted me to a veranda where we sat and sipped iced tea.  The governor pledged that he was going to put up a terrific fight against Goldwater.  He expressed his gratitude for Governor Rockefeller’s support and for my agreeing to come to see him.  For at least ten minutes he orated about Barry Goldwater, what a threat Goldwaterism is to the country and the party.  I didn’t ask him for it, but he gave his solemn oath that even if Goldwater won the nomination, he, Bill Scranton, could never conceivably, under any circumstances, support him.  Even if he wanted to, which he said he didn’t, it would be political suicide in his state for him to join a Goldwater bandwagon.  He was unequivocal about this, and months later, when I saw on television how quickly Governor Scranton pledged his loyalty to nominee Goldwater, how eagerly he engaged in some of the most revolting high-level white Uncle Tomism I’ve ever seen – fawning on Goldwater and vigorously campaigning for him around the country – I had to wonder if this was, indeed, the same man who had nearly sworn on the Bible that he could never do what he was doing.

I wish I could find video of the appearance on the Les Crane show where Robinson and Shelley Winters ganged up on William F. Buckley, which Robinson described at the end of that chapter.  It sounds like it was probably a lot more interesting than Buckley's set to with Vidal a few years later.

Update:  Here's a description of the show.

1964-08-04, WABC, 22 min.
Jackie Robinson, Les Crane, Barry Goldwater, Shelley Winters, William F. Buckley Jr., Lyndon B. Johnson

It's a heated discussion about Presidential Candidate Barry Goldwater with guests Jackie Robinson, Shelley Winters and William F. Buckley Jr. The program is interrupted for 8 minutes by an ABC News Bulletin from the White House. President Lyndon B. Johnson talks to the American People concerning the Gulf of Tonkin attack and USA intervention. Prior to resuming "The Les Crane Show," the network plays "The National Anthem," a patriotic gesture of the era.

No Apology Will Be Forthcoming

If Kentuckians might not have liked my swipe at them yesterday, they shouldn't have inflicted both Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul on the country.   My state has elected some real crap, like Paul LePage, but he is a self-inflicted disease, harming only the people of Maine.   It hasn't given two such putrid and influential Senators to the country as McConnell and Paul in living memory, perhaps, arguably,  not since James. G. Blaine has it done anything remotely that bad to the country.   And he was a moderate of the time.  We are in another such spiral of shame, only much worse. 

Though he's not from my congressional district, I accept that Bruce Poliquin is a shameful stain on Maine's reputation.   You probably haven't heard of him, he's crap but he's not powerful.  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hate Mail

It might have been more witty for "Skeptic Tank" to have called my state "Alabama with beavers" if Alabama didn't have beavers, only I guess he's too much of a sci-guy to have looked it up to find it out, first.   I forget, is he from New York?  That great, sophisticated state that gave the nation Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Peter King?  Not to mention dozens of others who could be mentioned.  Eschaton is the Kentucky of lefties, intellectual inbreeds without much in the way of mind power but with a parochial attitude they think makes up for it.  

I don't think anyone over there is more critical of my state than I am, the difference is I know what I'm talking about when I do it. 

Update:  Jeesh, you guys are so friggin' stupid.

North American Distribution of Castor Canadensis

Wonder How Many Of Those Out Of Order Provisions The Instantly Hypocitical John McCain Will Vote For Today

I haven't kept track but from what I've heard, John McCain's big speech yesterday about the virtue of regular order, as part of his excuse for furthering the Republican plan to kill tens of thousands and deny tens of millions of Americans healthcare, his great pose of principle didn't make it past the first vote as he voted to push the appallingly bad Cruz amendment, something outside of any regular order of the Senate, forward.

John McCain had two motives in yesterday's vote, to get back at Barack Obama by trying to destroy his major achievement as President and to get himself on camera striking a pose and spouting platitudes which he had no intention of following through on.  In his case, the very vote he came to cast for the entirely out of order repeal of the ACA proved he didn't mean a word of it.   John McCain is an empty suit, he has always been pretty much the same person who struck a pose for the camera and then supported some of the most depraved of Republican positions as he basked in the media limelight given to him for striking the pose.

This is politics as show biz, something which certainly has always been there.  The regular pose of virtue and morality which will be carried by the media - especially when it is a Republican doing the posing, even when they know the man or woman is actually a vile, corrupt, cruel sociopath.   Often it will be on the basis of some alleged regional virtue, often asserted for those from the Mid-West.  Chuck Grassley, as cold-blooded and cruelly indifferent a partisan sleaze has benefitted from his voice, annoyingly similar to Jimmy Stewart in its inflection.  In McCain's case, it is in part due to his having been a POW and partly the a figure of the mythic movie West, about as real as any seen on TV.

I have not ever expected better of John McCain than what he has delivered. Any expectation I might have very temporarily had that he would be a better kind of Republican probably died in the 1980s, Though it was so temporary that I don't remember ever buying the media myth.  His choice of Sarah Palin to run as his Vice President, probably about the worst person he could have ever considered and elevated to national prominence is a far, far better indication of who he really is, who he always was than any speech he gave or might still give.  When you wonder what kind of person John McCain is, when anyone asks that, they should be told he's the kind of person who thought Sarah Palin was qualified to be president of the United States, the kind of person who voted for Mitch McConnell to try to kill tens of thousands of Americans and to deny health care to tens of millions more, the kind of person who - if some analysts are right - will help Mitch McConnell to recess the Senate so Trump can set off his super-Saturday Night Massacre scenario which will ultimately get Robert Mueller fired and try to stop the investigation into the Trump Treason of the country.  I don't think there is any overestimating the willingness of John McCain to be a partisan hypocrite, not after today.

Senatorial comity has always been just about the cheapest, most cloying and hypocritical of melodramas.  It has always disgusted me.  It is disgusting how people who do such terrible things that kill and harm millions can make so nice with each other. It makes you wonder if any of them really care that their colleagues are the kind of people who will kill people to give money away to billionaires.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Now Do You Believe We Are Under The Colonial Oppression of the Billionaires?

The Republican Party is joining ISIS and Al Qaeda and whatever terrorist groups have as a goal to kill Americans thanks to the massive hypocrisy of John McCain and whatever effect of him rallying himself from his government health care stay at an elite hospital in order to take one last stab at Barack Obama for the affrontery of having beaten him in the presidential race in 2008 had in todays vote against the American People by Republicans in the Senate.  

With this vote, with its expected death toll of up to 40,000 Americans a year,  the Republican Party is the greatest danger that Americans face in the world.  

You can read a more detailed account of the disgusting day in the Senate at Charles Pierce's blog.  With large excerpts from McCain's revoltingly hypocritical speech.  I have to say that I am not surprised at John McCain because he has always been about eighty percent phony in his maverick role.  I have never expected better from him, especially after his disgusting performance of the past nine years.  He was a man who had one distinction, having survived being a POW, but who, otherwise, has been mostly less than met the TV camera.   Charles Pierce notes that the only constituency he ever really cared about was the Meet the Nation audience, he certainly doesn't care about the American People. 

I hope he roasts in hell. 

The Republicans Are Bailing on Trump

Susan Collins And Jack Reed Caught By C-Span A Live Mic

Collins: Did you see the one who challenged me to a duel?

Reed: Trust me, you know why he challenged you to a duel? Because you could beat the shit out of him.

Collins: He’s so unattractive, it’s unbelievable. Did you see the picture of him in his pajamas next to this bunny, Playboy bunny?

View image on Twitter

They're talking about Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), who said if the female Senators expected to vote against Trumpcare were men he'd challenge them to a duel.   He's the one on the end in baby blue and yellow duckies, the gap-toothed cartoon idiot. Only he's one in real life, too.

It doesn't make me like Susan Collins any more than I don't because she's enabled as bad all during her career.  It makes me hope that Blake becomes the poster-boy for Trump Care.
Is John McCain returning to the Senate as one final chance to get back at Barack Obama for beating him in 2008?   Could that be the reason that he is setting fire to the rest of his public persona by voting to throw tens of millions of Americans off of health care, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands, at the very least?   Even as he has full coverage as a member of the United States Senate?

I think the answer is that he is that petty.  I think if that's the conclusion others come to, he fully deserves it. 

John McCain Burns The Last Shred Of His Honor

John McCain is supposed to rise from his sickbed to vote for whatever atrocity that Mitch McConnell proposes to take healthcare away from tens of millions of Americans and to prevent others from gaining to save their lives.

I think it's relevant to ask if John McCain has ever, in his life, had to depend on private insurance purchased with his own money, that might be denied to him on the basis of his own pre-existing conditions.   I can tell you that in most places, someone with his health history would probably find it difficult or impossible to have found insurance in the pre-ACA era. Though, perhaps, that is something he has no personal experience of. 

I don't see any reason to suspend that question in the case of John McCain, especially considering his last statement was that he was opposed to the kind of secret legislation that he has announced he will vote for today, before he knows what it says, before the Republican leadership in the Senate knows what it will say, probably before Mitch McConnell knows what it will say.   

John McCain disgusts me.  

Update:  "You copied Atrios".  Read it and weep, trollboy.  The timestamps show that my post was posted a minute before Duncan posted his.  I suspect mine took longer to type out, too.

Posted by The Thought Criminal at 8:29 AM 

by Atrios at 08:30 

We Are Under The Colonial Oppression Of Childish Billionaires

If we survive long I've got a feeling this age will be known as the age of the billionaire plutocrats.  In thinking about the colonization of the United States by the Russian billionaire crime boss, Czar, Putin, through the perhaps entirely phony American billionaire and aided by numerous other American billionaires, including one who has plans to hightail it to New Zealand if his Ayn Randian dream goes bad for HIM proves that they're pretty much, as a class, in it together.  Reading at RMJ's about the lunatic plans of Elon Musk over both his naive belief that a "verbal agreement" for him to build a likely sci-fi "hyperlink" between Boston, NYC and Washington as well as his boldly announced and ambitious plans for passenger service to Mars which have been severely cut back as another area of reality has interfered with "vision".   On the hyperlink, his assurance that it's inevitable because someone told him they approved at the Trump White House, it's clear that Musk believes that democratic governance is nothing that has to hinder his "vision" which seems to be derived more from his watching of sci-fi cable TV and one or more of the ever recurring remakes of Douglas Adams crap than reality.

IT’S BEEN LESS than a year since Elon Musk announced his plans to settle humans on Mars during a talk in Guadalajara, Mexico. On stage at the International Astronautical Congress, the billionaire invoked the lore of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Battlestar Galactica while describing a massive passenger ship loaded with the essentials—you know, like a movie theater and a restaurant. SpaceX hoped to launch these breezy cruises to the red planet in the early 2030s.

What a sad thing it is when an age takes its lore from such garbage, when the bold visionary projects of the ultra rich are derived from hack TV writing.   I wonder if any of them ever read books.  

I have come to think that if democracy and even the habit of living informed by reality is to survive, and us with it, that we are going to have to take serious legal measures to get rid of the billionaire class in an act of radical leveling. Our legal system, derived in large part from the Brits with their appalling class system of inequality carries way too many assumptions that aid the creation of ultra-super-rich people who then use the power derived from their wealth to destroy democracy.   Any exceptions to that, any less deranged billionaires you might name,  do nothing to change the horrific fact that billionaires, the ultra-rich, as a class, are as much a danger to democracy as any other force.  I have a strong suspicion that even those who are no inclined to malignity would likely turn if their wealth were in question. And if not they, then their heirs. 

In the United States, it has been the Supreme Court, above all, using both the law and the provisions of the Bill of Rights and other parts of the Constitution to enable the destruction of democracy, it has been the legislative and executive branches which have tried, in the past, to reign in the influence of money in our elections only to be thwarted by the dead hand of the Founders as envisioned by the product of elite law schools sitting on the Supreme Court.  It has been the courts who struck down one after another attempt to limit or eliminate the influence of huge money in our elections.  The things that provide them their arguments are exactly what will have to change if we are to survive as a democracy or survive at all.   It's getting worse, year by year, decade by decade.  We've got Trump, the alleged billionaire puppet of billionaires domestic and, especially his foreign creditors who stole the American presidency on the cheap through him.  If our media were not in the hands of and run by the ultra-rich, to propagandize people for their benefit, we would not be in this position.   Trump is their creation. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Don't Care

Yes, I did look at the thread you sent me a link to.  I have decided that it makes no difference how often you point the truth out to Simps, Freki, Skeptic Tank, Thunderboy, etc. they lie.  Sometimes they lie because they frequently don't understand what was said, sometimes they lie just because they lie, sometimes they lie because the truth is just not congenial to their prejudices.  They lie and Duncan Black doesn't mind them using his blog to lie on.  Pointing that out is as effective as refutation and far easier.  

Case Closed. Collusion Has Been Proven

Betty Carter - Geri Allen - Dave Holland - Jack De Johnett - Giant Steps by John Coltrane (of course)

Geri Allen, "Our Lady" - Live at Berklee Commencement Concert 2014

Geri Allen, piano
Terri Lyne Carrington, drums
Maurice Chestnut, Tap Dancer